Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. | Sept. 17, 2013 | Office of the President
Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet and Nobel laureate who held an honorary degree from Notre Dame, passed away this summer. I met him on two occasions and he struck me as a particularly genial and humble man. His wife, Marie, once told me the honorary degree from Notre Dame meant a great deal to him.
In Heaney’s beautiful poem, Digging, he juxtaposes himself, composing poetry at his desk with pen in hand, with his father and grandfather, farmers who worked with a spade to harvest potatoes or cut turf.
Like Heaney’s poetry-writing, your work as faculty is generally not strenuous physical labor, but the work of the mind and imagination. You write, collect data, draw conclusions, create works of art, teach, and engage in many conversations with colleagues and students. Yet it is as demanding and productive as those engaged in physical labor.